The most competitive league in the world is going start in few hours with the huge opener between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool, who finished sixth last season after an impressive season coming so close to the silverware, will start their campaign tomorrow 9th August against Mark Hughes’ Stoke City.
The Reds will like to take a revenge for last season’s humiliating 6-1 loss at the Britannia.Stadium. After spending a huge £77.5 million on seven players this summer, Reds have reinforced their squad hugely.
But we have seen the manager Brendan Rodgers failing to use his signing over the years at Anfield. Players like Nuri Sahin, Luis Alberto Romero, Suso and many have been affected by the Northern Irish manager who failed to use them properly.
So how could Liverpool’s midfield line up this season?
Currently the midfielders at Anfield are captain Jordan Henderson, newly assigned vice captain James Milner, Lucas Leiva, Emre Can, Joe Allen, Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana, Lazar Markovic, Jordan Ibe, Roberto Firmino, Jordan Rossiter and Joao Carlos Teixeira.
With 11 midfielders in the squad, how can they line up in the center of the park? A lot depends on the former Swansea managers’s gameplay and tactics.
Henderson and Coutinho is likely to play for the major part of the season irrespective to whatever formation the manager opts for. Milner is another player who is likely to feature in most matches. The experienced and vesatile midfielder left Manchester City is expecting gametime at Merseyside and has been assigned vice captain. We will highlight some potential midfield line-ups for Liverpool this season.
The first one:
According to reports, Liverpool will start the season in a 4-2-3-1 formation where the central midfielders will be Milner and Henderson with Coutinho, Lallana and young Ibe ahead of the duo. But once Firmino adapts in the Premier League, he is likely to take place for either Ibe or Lallana. Markovic will also play in few matches for Ibe.
This formation will be beneficial attacking wise but it may backfire for the Reds as both the central midfielders Milner and Henderson are box to box and love to burst forward whenever opportunity presents itself. Neither of them is a deep lying playmaker who sits behind the midfield proving a shield for defence and provide license to fullbacks to push higher in the pitch.
Rodgers has a tendency of getting ultra attacking with his team and neglecting a vital position in modern football that is the defensive midfield. If he follows this tactics, his defensive concerns will again be exploited.
The midfield line-up in this formation:
The second option Brendan might go for is 4-4-2 diamond which he used in 2013-14 season with Luis Suarez in the team. But the problem with this formation is how to field Milner. After the return of Sturridge from injury, Rodgers may change his tactics to diamond with Sturridge and Benteke up fornt. Firmino can also play as a secondary striker thanks to his impressive goalscoring abilities along with his playmaking.
If Firmino plays upfornt, Lallana will play at the tip of the midfield with coutinho and Henderson in deeper positions. Coutinho can play as a number eight with ease which he played occasionally last season also. Now comes the regista position which will be played either by Emre Can or Lucas Leiva.
This formation would be ideal for Liverpool considering their expressiv style of football and the amount of energy and creativity in the squad.
The midfield formation will be like this:
However, the best possible line up will be a narrow 4-3-2-1. Can or Lucas will play regista and it will give the central midfielders Milner and Henderson to play freely and roam all around the field. The two engines will be utilised properly. The two attacking midfield position will be filled by Coutinho and another rotated by Lallana and Firmino depending on their performances. A regista in the form of Can or Lucas will also allow the fullbacks to burst forward which Clyne and Moreno love to do.
The midfield formation will be like this:
Brendan Rodgers can do wonders with the midfield he has if he makes good selections. With Europa League commitment, they have to play a lot of games and a good rotation in the squad would benefit them.